New Zealand puts a stake in the ground regarding software patents

14 07 2011

The New Zealand government is supporting a new Patents Bill which is supposedly aimed at banning the patenting of software. It would seem the patenting of embedded software will be allowable whereas the patenting of pure front-end applications such as GUIs will not be allowed. This approach seems to be based on the premise that embedded software has a technical effect outside the realm of pure computation- in line with the view adopted in Europe.  Not a bad approach……

However, far from clearing up the debate and drawing the lines of patentability for all to appreciate their approach seems to have confused matters for practitioners in that country even further….. Full article available here

Of course, the New Zealand government’s implementation of this “seemingly sound” approach will only reveal itself in time…… and the muddy waters should hopefully clear up then. It seems that much can be learned from their forthright approach – in any event, the technical skill of the patenting authorities in New Zealand will certainly be tested soon enough – if they want to ensure a consistent approach to the implementation of this policy…..